The Everest Story

The story of how Twitter users from Nepal found out a misidentification of Mt Everest by NASA in a picture that went viral on web and helped in correction of error.

The Everest Story

The story of how Twitter users from Nepal found out a misidentification of Mt Everest by NASA in a picture that went viral on web and helped in correction of error.

Storified by Ujjwal Acharya · Tue, Dec 18 2012 01:59:04

On Dec, Saturday, Peter Caltner tweeted an image taken from International Space Station (ISS). He said that it was Mount Everest – the world’s tallest peak. 
Mount Everest, Nepal, as seen #fromspace by Yuri Malenchenko aboard the #ISSPC0101
The image quickly went viral. It was also picked up by Alan Boyle, the NBCNews.com’s science editor, and Rebecca J. Rosen, an associate editor at The Atlantic, both of whom posted it into their websites with comments from Ron Garon, an astronaut who had lived in ISS:
I never got a good shot of Mt. #Everest #FromSpace RT @PC0101http://twitpic.com/bk9tpf – Picture taken on 20121109, 095717 GMT; 800-mm lensRon Garan
I saw a few tweets about it but didn’t bother to look into it until my good friend Deepak Adhikari retweeted a couple of tweets about it including one from Peter and another from Mashable (which was originally the story published in The Atlantic and remains as the original posting).
#Everest Doesn’t Look That Big From Space https://mashable.com/2012/12/10/mount-everest-from-space/ via @mashableDeepak Adhikari
I searched a little bit and found that the image is going viral so not to be left behind, I tweeted:
The trending tweeted image! RT @PC0101: Mount #Everest, #Nepal, as seen #fromspace by Yuri Malenchenko aboard the #ISS http://twitpic.com/bk9tpfUjjwal Acharya
And, I received this reply from Kunda Dixit, a noted journalist who is very much interested in mountains saying that there is no Everest in it:
@UjjwalAcharya @PC0101 Sorry guys, but the tall peak with the shadow in the middle is not Mt Everest. My guess: Xixapangma in TibetKunda Dixit
And, conversation went on in Twitter:
@kundadixit đŸ˜® Is Mt Everest is seen in this picture? @PC0101Ujjwal Acharya
@UjjwalAcharya I think so, it’s Everest. Checked lots of photo pages with Himalayan peaks for checking, before posting.Peter Caltner
@PC0101 I have no idea. I’m not an expert but @kundadixit knows better. Haven’t heard from him. #Everest #NepalUjjwal Acharya
@UjjwalAcharya @PC0101 #Everest #Nepal not really "expert", definitely not everest, but can’t figure out, not enuf terrain visibleKunda Dixit
Then Aakar Anil looked through Google Earth and tweeted:
@kundadixit @UjjwalAcharya @PC0101 I tried with Google Earth. Could not find the exact angle but somehow it looks similar.Aakar Anil
@kundadixit Do you know that the picture went viral on web. If it’s not Everest, it should be a big news đŸ™‚ @PC0101Ujjwal Acharya
Deepak joined in saying that Peter should tell us on what basis he claimed it to be Everest.
@UjjwalAcharya @kundadixit @PC0101 the one who first posted should tell on what basis he said it’s #everest ?Deepak Adhikari
Peter was still confident it was Mt Everest.
@DeepakAdk It has taken me hours to surf the net and track down the individual pix from all angles and perspectives ….Peter Caltner
I thought maybe someone else can help out and tweeted this:
Experts’ help needed! @KundaDixit says viral space photo tweeted by @PC0101 is ‘definitely not that of #Everest’. http://twitpic.com/bk9tpf 1/2Ujjwal Acharya
And, alerted the authors of the stories in web about the suspicious being raised:
Challenged! Senior journalist @kundadixit thinks #fromspace photo of Everest does NOT have Mt #Everest! Truth? @b0yle @Astro_Ron @beccarosenUjjwal Acharya
And, Boyle responded saying that he would look into it next morning:
@UjjwalAcharya Glad to follow the truthsquadding and correct/revise posting, will check back in the morning. Many thanks…Alan Boyle
Cartoonist Rajesh KC then turned out to be an expert saying that it was Sasan Kangari:
@UjjwalAcharya @kundadixit @b0yle @Astro_Ron @beccarosen #Everest? OMG! Alien’s #hubble has gone something wrong. It’s Sasan Kangari, guys.PHALANOâ„¢
@UjjwalAcharya @kundadixit @PC0101 This is It’s Sasan Kangari- near #India #Pakistan and #Tibet border.PHALANOâ„¢
I flew to New Delhi next morning without further participating in the conversation and when I got a chance to browse internet there, the good news was already there with of course NASA issuing an apology iva email to journalists who queried about it:
@phalano @UjjwalAcharya @kundadixit @PC0101 YES! #Nasa #theatlantic today update this picture as northeastward view of Sasen Mustagh(Kangri)PHALANOâ„¢
http://twitpic.com/bk9tpf – The combined efforts of locals as @phalano @UjjwalAcharya @kundadixit and @NASA found that this is Sasen MustaghPeter Caltner
I’ve updated the "Everest From Space" item cuz … that might not be Everest: http://nbcnews.to/TajsG4 @UjjwalAcharya @phalano @kunadixitAlan Boyle
We r still looking 4 a good view of illusive #Everest #FromSpace Apparently Yuri’s ISS pic’s not Everest It’s Saser Muztagh #Sorry4ConfusionRon Garan
And, AFP made a news of it and it was spread all over the newspaper and internet:
NASA photo error puts Mount Everest in India http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/nasa-photo-error-puts-mount-everest-in-india-304903 #AFP #Nepal @kundadixit @aakarpost @UjjwalAcharyaFrankie Taggart
A couple of news (from web that didn’t put wire news of AFP as many did)
Nasa admits ‘Everest’ photo errorThe US space agency, Nasa, has admitted it mistook a mountain in India for Mount Everest when it posted online a picture taken from space…
NASA makes error the size of EverestThe US space agency wrongly identified a summit in India as Mt Everest.
Also read Aakar Anil’s blog post on this:
Mount Everest, Nepal as seen #fromspace [PHOTO]NASA released a photo of Mount Everest (8,848m Nepal) that was taken from space few days back. Sites including The Atlantic, Mashable etc…
And, all this means we can use Twitter for good purposes and with our combined effort we can correct erroneous news about Nepal (which has happened a lot in the past): 
How interesting is that? Nepali twitter users’ combined effort proves NASA’s haste identification of Mt #Everest wrong! http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/nasa-photo-error-puts-mount-everest-in-india-304903Ujjwal Acharya

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